Erick Lozano pled guilty or no contest to five offenses pursuant to an open plea, and the trial court sentenced Lozano within the punishment range for each offense. In each of these appeals, Lozano’s court-appointed attorney filed a brief containing a professional evaluation of the record in accordance with Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). Counsel concludes that each of the appeals has no merit. Lozano was provided with a copy of the brief and informed of his right to review the record and file his own brief. See Nichols v. State, 954 S.W.2d 83, 85-86 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1997, no pet.); Bruns v. State, 924 S.W.2d 176, 177 n.1 (Tex. App.– San Antonio 1996, no pet.). Lozano filed a pro se brief asserting numerous issues. Continue reading
Appellant entered a plea of guilty to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. On September 29, 2011, the trial court sentenced appellant to confinement for 12 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.
Appellant’s appointed counsel, with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office filed an excellent brief in which she concludes the appeal is wholly frivolous and without merit. The brief meets the requirements of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396 (1967), by presenting a professional evaluation of the record and demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced. See High v. State, 573 S.W.2d 807 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978). Continue reading
Jaime Arturo Zamora appeals his conviction for capital murder, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to give an accomplice witness instruction for a key prosecution witness; submitting a confusing instruction for three other accomplice witnesses; refusing to allow him to question potential jurors about their possible biases against Hispanics; and failing to give a contemporaneous limiting instruction when it admitted a witness’s prior inconsistent statements for impeachment purposes. We affirm.
I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Appellant and his brother, Danny Zamora, ran a drug distribution network sourcing cocaine and marijuana from Monterrey, Mexico for resale in Houston, Texas. Santiago Salinas, at first a customer of the Zamoras, began to source his own product from Monterrey and compete with the Zamoras for Houston sales in 2005. Benjamin Rosales was a Houston-area paint and body shop owner who maintained a side business reselling drugs out of his shop, first using Salinas as a supplier and later the Zamoras. At some point in 2005, Appellant told Rosales that Salinas owed Danny Zamora money for some cocaine that he had lost and he wanted someone to collect the money for him. According to Rosales, appellant gave three choices. One, he wanted to have him kidnapped to pay the money; or secondly, just go ahead and kill him. The third choice was to collect the debt peacefully. According to Rosales, appellant’s primary goal at this time was to collect the money. Rosales tried to recruit two associates to take the job but they declined. Continue reading
Appellant, Ernesto Gonzalez, appeals his conviction for capital murder. Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 12.31(a), 19.03(a)(2) (West 2011). Finding no error, we affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
At approximately 5:00 a.m. on April 27, 2008, Houston Police officers, including David Rodriguez, responded to a call reporting a shooting near the intersection of Westview and Gessner in the Spring Branch area of Houston. The responding officers eventually located the person who had reported the shooting: Joseph Oliver. Oliver then directed the police to an apartment complex on Westview. After arriving at the apartment complex, the officers found the complainant, Horace Luna, slumped over the hood of a car. (3RR23-32) Additional police arrived at the scene including Ruth Nunez, the crime scene investigator, and homicide detectives Dan Arnold and John McGalin. The investigators discovered a small-caliber gunshot wound to the complainant’s back. They also located an unfired .380 caliber bullet and a piece of PVC pipe that was splattered with blood. Continue reading
first degree felony offense of injury to a child with the use of a deadly weapon. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 22.04(e) (West Supp. 2011). The trial court sentenced Mayo to sixty years’ imprisonment.
From the record, it is clear that Mayo and the State had an extensive agreement in this case, part of which included the State dismissing other charges upon Mayo entering an open plea of guilty and waiving his right to appeal the adjudication of guilt. While an agreement was entered by the State and Mayo, there was not an agreement by the parties as to the punishment, instead that was to be set solely by the trial court. This agreement does not meet the definition of a “plea bargain” as expressed by the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, in which a defendant has limited appeal rights. TEX. R. APP. P. 25.2(a)(2). Continue reading
ninety-nine years’ imprisonment. Taylor complains that the trial court failed to correctly charge the jury during punishment on the effects of parole. We affirm the trial court’s judgment because we find that egregious harm was not demonstrated.
The Trial Court’s Jury Charge Was Erroneous
Our review of error in this jury charge involves a two-step process. Ngo v. State, 175 S.W.3d 738, 743 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005); Abdnor v. State, 871 S.W.2d 726, 731 (Tex. Crim. App. 1994); see also Sakil v. State, 287 S.W.3d 23, 2526 (Tex. Crim. App. 2009). Initially, we determine whether error occurred, and then evaluate whether sufficient harm resulted from the error to require reversal. Abdnor, 871 S.W.2d at 73132. Continue reading
Before Justices Morris, Richter, and Lang-Miers Opinion by Justice Morris
Relators contend the trial judge erred in compelling them to answer certain interrogatories. The facts and issues are well known to the parties, so we need not recount them herein. Based on the record before us, we conclude relators have not shown they are entitled to the relief requested. See Tex. R. App. P. 52.8(a); Walker v. Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839-40 (Tex. 1992) (orig. proceeding). Accordingly, we DENY relators’ petition for writ of mandamus. Continue reading
Before Justices Morris, Moseley, and Myers
Opinion By Justice Morris
At trial, a jury convicted Julius James Woods of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He complains in a single issue that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his request to exclude the testimony of a State’s witness due to lack of proper notice. We affirm the trial court’s judgment. Continue reading
Before Justices Bridges, Francis, and Lang
Opinion By Justice Lang
Appellant Elvis Pedraza pleaded not guilty to theft of property valued at $1,500 or more, but less than $20,000. Following a bench trial, the trial court convicted appellant and assessed punishment at 180 days’ confinement, probated for two years. In two issues on appeal, appellant contends (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and (2) the trial court committed reversible error when it failed to prevent appellant’s trial counsel from jointly representing appellant and appellant’s co-defendant. We affirm the trial court’s judgment. Because all dispositive issues are settled in law, we issue this memorandum opinion. See Tex. R. App. P. 47.2(a), 47.4.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Continue reading
of forty–through the community of Rusk, Texas, in his tractor-trailer rig not long after midnight, in mid-2007. Troy Ansley, the Rusk police officer who stopped Hill, did as he normally does with stopped drivers of large trucks–he asked Hill to come to the back of the truck, in front of Ansley’s patrol car. Once the two were behind Hill’s truck, Ansley noticed the smell of alcohol emitting from Hill. Hill told Ansley conflicting stories as to his consumption of alcohol and showed signs, according to Ansley, of intoxication–signs we will detail later. Ansley concluded that Hill was under the influence of alcohol. As a result of this early-morning encounter, Hill was convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Continue reading
Appellant entered a plea of guilty to the offense of burglary of a building and was placed on deferred adjudication probation for five years. On January 9, 2012, the trial court adjudicated appellant’s guilt and sentenced him to confinement for two years in the State Jail Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal. Appellant initially appealed to the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont. Pursuant to its docket equalizationauthority, the Texas Supreme Court transferred appellant’s appeal to this court. See Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. § 73.001. Continue reading
Kenneth Broussard appeals his conviction for sexual assault on the grounds that the trial court erred in denying (a) his motion to suppress evidence and (b) his motion for a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct. We affirm.
Appellant was indicted in April 2010 for the sexual assault of his seventeen-year- old stepdaughter. Because he has not challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction, we limit our discussion of the facts here and throughout the opinion to those necessary to dispose of his issues. Continue reading
We overrule the motion for rehearing; we withdraw our opinion dated April 24, 2012, and issue the following substitute opinion.
A jury convicted appellant Timothy Morales of injury to a child and assessed punishment at 55 years’ imprisonment. Appellant argues he is entitled to a new trial because the trial court erred by (1) refusing to give a jury instruction on the general voluntariness of his statement to police; and (2) denying his motion to suppress statements he made to police. We affirm. Continue reading
Before Justices Rodriguez, Benavides, and Perkes
Memorandum Opinion by Justice RodriguezAppellant Randall Bolivar challenges the trial court’s denial of his pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 11.08 (West 2005). Appellate cause number 13-11-00128-CR involves Bolivar’s arrest and indictment for two counts of assault on a public servant; appellate cause number 13-11-00129-CR involves Bolivar’s arrest and indictment for murder. See TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. §§ 19.02(b), 22.01(b)(1) (West 2011). Bolivar fi led pretrial applications for writs of habeas corpus as to all counts, alleging that: he was denied counsel at the time of his arrest; his conditions of incarceration pending trial have amounted to cruel and unusual punishment; his bail is unconstitutiona lly excessive; and he has been denied a speedy trial. See U.S. CONST. amends. V, VI, VIII, XIV. The trial court denied Bolivar’s applications. Continue reading
Before Justices O’Neill, Richter, and Lang-Miers
Opinion By Justice Richter
Appellant was convicted of driving while intoxicated, and the court assessed punishment at ninety days’ confinement in the county jail, probated for fifteen months, and a fine of $800. In a single issue on appeal, appellant asserts the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the State failed to establish probable cause for his warrantless arrest. In a cross-point, the State requests that we reform the judgment to reflect that there was no plea bargain in this case. We reform the trial court’s judgment, and as reformed, affirm. Continue reading
Appellant, Andrew Gibbs, without an agreed punishment recommendation from the State, pleaded guilty to the offense of aggravated robbery, and the trial court assessed his punishment at confinement for twenty-five years. In two issues, appellant contends that the trial court imposed a sentence that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Continue reading
Jerome Lydell Thomas was charged by indictment with aggravated robbery. Tex. Penal Code Ann. 29.03 (West 2011). Thomas pleaded not guilty. A jury found him guilty and sentenced him to twenty years in prison and assessed a fine of $1,800.00. On appeal, Thomas argues that his punishment of twenty years in prison is disproportionate to his crime, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and violates his rights under both the United States and Texas Constitutions. We affirm. Continue reading
Appellant, Angel Garay, was charged by indictment with burglary of a habitation. He pleaded guilty without a sentencing recommendation and the trial court sentenced him to four years in prison. On appeal, he contends that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to conduct a sua sponte inquiry into Garay’s competency after sentencing. We affirm. Continue reading
Herbert Lee Smith III was charged by indictment with possession of a controlled substance weighing more than four grams but less than two hundred grams. After the trial court denied Smith’s motion to suppress, Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to forty-two months in prison. In his sole issue on appeal, Smith argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the arresting officer had no warrant and stopped Smith to investigate a suspected drug transaction the officer had not witnessed. We affirm. Continue reading
A jury found appellant, Daniel Harris, guilty of the offense of aggravated kidnapping, and the trial court assessed his punishment at confinement for thirty-three years. In two issues, appellant contends that the trial court erred in denying his Batson challenge to the composition of the venire panel and he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Continue reading